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Coursera and Udacity
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Desu Offline
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Post: #1
Coursera and Udacity

Hey guys, I just wanted you to be aware of a couple of amazing organizations that are kinda new.

http://www.coursera.org

Quote:We are a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.

Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

http://www.udacity.com

Quote:We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, we've connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students all over the world.

Udacity was founded by three roboticists who believed much of the educational value of their university classes could be offered online.

For some of these classes, you can actually get credit.

For the coursera courses (at least the ones I've taken), they actually go week by week, there's lectures, quizzes, tests, and homework. There's discussion forums for each class. And they also offer office hours and you can literally contact the staff at the university if the class is in progress.

Did I mention it's all for free?

Seriously this is fucking amazing, this is the future right here. Take advantage of this.

The Udacity classes in particular blow me away. Check out the introduction to computer science then the one on building your own blog application.

RIP GORE GOROTH

He was an hero. He will always be remembered.
(This post was last modified: 01-20-2013 10:50 AM by Desu.)
01-20-2013 08:24 AM
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SmokeyTheAggie Offline
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RE: Coursera and Udacity

Im make sure to do this once I start getting college courses and such.

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01-20-2013 09:38 AM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #3
Coursera and Udacity

You don't have to be in college, any one can take the classes. Smile

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01-20-2013 09:47 AM
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SmokeyTheAggie Offline
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RE: Coursera and Udacity

Would you still be able to count the credits?

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01-20-2013 04:40 PM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #5
Coursera and Udacity

Stickied, and shared. Smile

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01-20-2013 09:21 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Coursera and Udacity

(01-20-2013 04:40 PM)SmokeyTheAggie Wrote:  Would you still be able to count the credits?

These are free courses that anyone can sign up for. Most let you get a certificate of completion if you finish them, but not traditional college credit.

Then again, that might change soon. Some colleges are considering offering credit based on these, and for some subjects you could take a CLEP exam for college credit. Then again, a lot of people are rethinking college itself. All of this knowledge is available for free, while college tuition continues to skyrocket. Before long, platforms like http://degreed.com will let people show all their learning in one place, whether from within a degree program or from these MOOC providers or from other sources.

There are some related sites that also have free, open classes -- https://www.edx.org/ and http://venture-lab.org for example, though Coursera has by far the most.

You can also sign up for completed or in-progress classes on Coursera and watch the videos. I've been thinking about how to help people develop personal learning plans based on navigating all of these resources in a customized way. The whole idea of a course seems different when you look at it like that.

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01-20-2013 10:45 PM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Coursera and Udacity

(01-20-2013 10:45 PM)xcriteria Wrote:  
(01-20-2013 04:40 PM)SmokeyTheAggie Wrote:  Would you still be able to count the credits?

These are free courses that anyone can sign up for. Most let you get a certificate of completion if you finish them, but not traditional college credit.

Then again, that might change soon. Some colleges are considering offering credit based on these, and for some subjects you could take a CLEP exam for college credit. Then again, a lot of people are rethinking college itself. All of this knowledge is available for free, while college tuition continues to skyrocket. Before long, platforms like http://degreed.com will let people show all their learning in one place, whether from within a degree program or from these MOOC providers or from other sources.

There are some related sites that also have free, open classes -- https://www.edx.org/ and http://venture-lab.org for example, though Coursera has by far the most.

You can also sign up for completed or in-progress classes on Coursera and watch the videos. I've been thinking about how to help people develop personal learning plans based on navigating all of these resources in a customized way. The whole idea of a course seems different when you look at it like that.

The biggest problem is the prevailing bias in employers that you need the piece of paper. I think it's idiotic though, and a symptom of an inherent problem in human resources. You need the "piece of paper", the credential, the university stamp, before even being considered. It's almost totally arbitrary. The majority of what you learn in university will not be used practically in your employment.

On top of that, people play it safe by going to university, formal educational institutions, so they can (probably) be safe in the job market and get stable income. Nobody considers do something a little more creative.

And IMO, any company or organization that won't even look at your resume or seriously consider you for hire just because you don't have the piece of paper is a place you don't want to work. There are many ways to demonstrate your abilities, knowledge, and personality, and having a college degree is a poor indicator of your value as an employee.

I hope these free education projects that seem to be exploding online will shift these attitudes, while more and more people second guess university education because it costs them a fortune just to get the piece of paper which is starting to lose value because everyone has one now and because the investment is so damn expensive.

RIP GORE GOROTH

He was an hero. He will always be remembered.
01-22-2013 11:02 AM
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Sunbourn Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Coursera and Udacity

Signed up for a few courses at Coursera. Some of them have yet to begin, and the others I signed up for have already almost run their course, but I still look forward to digging through the videos and absorbing the tidbits I find interesting. Smile I always wanted to do an astronomy course at my HS, but there's always been the problem of there not actually being one, putting me in the funny predicament of...y'know...not taking one.

Looking at Udacity now and I see so many classes that I'm interested in taking. OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD! You mentioned in your post that for some you can actually get college credit. Which ones on both sites can I actually get college credit for?

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01-23-2013 10:18 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Coursera and Udacity

(01-23-2013 10:18 AM)|55555| Wrote:  Looking at Udacity now and I see so many classes that I'm interested in taking. OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD! You mentioned in your post that for some you can actually get college credit. Which ones on both sites can I actually get college credit for?

If you take the MOOCs, look into your college's policies. Many colleges let you get credit for some subjects through CLEP exams, or departmental examinations (you'd have to inquire about those.)

In this case, the MOOC would help you learn the material, and then you'd go get credit-by-exam through CLEP, from your college directly, or possibly from another college and then transfer those in.

The situation with all this is still evolving, as MOOCs are so new... but one of the accreditation bodies has already suggested some MOOCs be available directly for college credit: http://chronicle.com/article/American-Co...on/137155/ In the end, it's still up to individual colleges, though.

You can also use the courses directly on your resume, online profiles, or portfolio, to demonstrate to employers, clients, and others that you're engaging in learning outside of college itself. [url="http://degreed.com"]Degreed[/url], which I mentioned above, and Accredible, are two sites based on "jailbreaking the degree," or letting you demonstrate specific learning from inside or outside traditional education in one place.

Here's a short clip featuring Degreed's founder, David Blake, explaining the concept:



Watch on YouTube

As for OVERLOAD, yes, for sure, and everyone will have access to even more before long. This is one reason why the degree itself isn't going to cut it for long. And, in fact, many hires occur based on personal contacts within companies, portfolios, and referrals, rather than degrees-and-resumes themselves.

The best strategy to use depends in part on what kind of work you want to do, and what kind of company or set of clients you want to do it for. There are many jobs that require the piece of paper, but many ways to work without one, if you can find a good fit between your talents/interests/skills and what people and organizations need.

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10-06-2013 10:28 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Coursera and Udacity

(01-22-2013 11:02 AM)Desu Wrote:  The biggest problem is the prevailing bias in employers that you need the piece of paper. I think it's idiotic though, and a symptom of an inherent problem in human resources. You need the "piece of paper", the credential, the university stamp, before even being considered. It's almost totally arbitrary. The majority of what you learn in university will not be used practically in your employment.

On top of that, people play it safe by going to university, formal educational institutions, so they can (probably) be safe in the job market and get stable income. Nobody considers do something a little more creative.

Many employers require the piece of paper, but much money and work changes hands without any such paper. A lot of work is done on a contract basis, for example, and a lot of people earn their living as freelancers. Many other hires are made by small businesses that don't necessarily place as much emphasis on a degree.

It all depends where you want to work, and what kind of work you want to pursue. It's worth taking the time to research possibilities. If anyone is looking to figure this out, give a shout out and let's pull together some research and brainstorm possibilities.

Developing a good network and social media presence is one of the best ways to make connections for work, for learning, and just meeting people in general... and that's not necessarily part of the "get a degree" process.

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10-06-2013 10:34 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #11
Coursera and Udacity

Yummy.

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10-06-2013 01:32 PM
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RashedMohamed Offline
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RE: Coursera and Udacity

Alone in my office yesterday afternoon, avoiding work on a book proposal, I read a couple of really interesting, seemingly-unrelated articles that actually go great together. The first was an old Chronicle piece that I found via Sara Goldrick-Rab’s blog which argues that the destruction of shared governance is a key reason that college costs so much. When faculty have no say in things, it argues, administrators spend money on more administrators rather than on education.

Why Coursera and Udacity are the worst things that ever happened to MOOCs.
10-08-2013 02:13 PM
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scorchededge243 Away
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RE: Coursera and Udacity

I can't stand Coursera boring (some exceptions) teaching style, but I like Udacity. I need to start using it more.
03-04-2014 09:31 AM
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